pricing commercial


Senior Member
2 years ago I ran around and did and estimate on 14 Jiffy Lubes in my area when a general manager called me for a bid.

I measured each lot, diagramed them all out, took photpgraphs of each one and submitted a rediculous # looking back

I never got the job and put it on the back burner but 2 years later the new general manager caled me (perhaps by seeing my bid on their PC or trash can) to service their lots.

Not knowing then what I do now
Anyway I quoted him the same figures and knocked them out during our 1st snow storm with 2 trucks, half of them needeing a second plow.

Looking back I know I was low, big deal i seen a semi large check but naaa
My question which I think is criticle here is: even though a per push might take a plow truck 30 minutes or maybe 20 of plowing on a commercial site once there!

Shouldnt I still calculate at least a 1hr service fee instead of breaking it down to minutes? (this is just plowing)
I cant seem to see any real major profhit there to grow and expanad if I dont do so other then being being a low bidder! then especialy if i had to sub half of them out. OMG

Thats my question having the minimum hourly service charge at least and with a % markup,, YES?NO?? Is this too much to ask for my $$$$ worth of snow removal eqipment to show up

I estimate time based on the first fall of the year, when you must go slower and spend more time pushing snow back further. You will find that the time generally decreases as winter progresses, until the point where things start to get abit tight, and then it starts to take increasing amounts of time as you have to manouver around snow piles.

So, long story short, estimate time based on the first plow, and stick to that. Apply your rate, overhead and critical fudge factors to that time. Don't bid to buy yourself a job - bid to make a reasonable profit.


2000 Club Member
The following is our pricing for a Jiffylube in our market. We serviced them last year, and it included clearing in front of the 6 overhead doors, and the sidewalk along the road. Total amount of time from beginning to end to complete the work was between 30-45 min depending on amount of snow.
Now to emphasize my point from another thread, the last guy to plow the lot did it for $ 75.00, and yet I got the work being roughly 25% higher, did a better job because my margin made it possible to spend an extra 5 min and hand shovel those overhead doors, a spec that the manager insisted on. Not only that, but we were able to contact corporate HQ in Texas, fax our invoices, and skip the local manager for payment. You know how that invoice can sit on his desk, or fall behind it, or other unexplained misteries of the universe.

0-3” $ 95.00
3-6” $ 125.00
Snowfall over 6” $ 35.00 per inch
These prices include clearing walks, and applying de-icer to the parking area and walks.
Magic –0 salt application to parking area. $ 80.00
Liquid anti-icing application. $ 100.00
Sidewalk magic-0 salt application. $ 50.00
Bulk de-icer maintenance. $ 20.00 per month
Sand clean up from parking area in the spring $ 100.00

We will bill for one 0-3” storm during months that we receive no snow to cover business operating costs and to insure our superior level of service.

Extreme weather conditions will warrant price adjustments. We will bill for the amount of snow plowed at each visit not for total snowstorm accumulation

Western Michigan

In this bid, you say the price includes deicer to the lots, and then list Magic O as $80 per application. Does that mean you offer straight salt in the first price, and an "upgrade" to Magic for another $80?


Senior Member
Thanks Dino,, I jotted those specs down,

I too last year went ahead and called the Corporate office, I felt very unlearry with the Manager

Ill re`submitt a bid next week and see what develops,,

Hey!! A new Home Depot just got built down my block :D


2000 Club Member
No what that means is after a snow plowable event we will plow and apply deicers.
The rate is specified for price of application during icing events, where plowing is not warranted, but deicers alone are used. Or if a refreeze in fact occurs, and they call for another application.
Actually what happened with this facility is that requested that no deicers be applied unless they called for it. So we had a waiver signed, and then when they call in we charged the extra $ 80.00 for that service and still charged the full rates for plowing.
To also show that point that charging per application is much more profitable then per ton rates or per # rates, that lot uses about 100# of material, so we are grossing $.80 per lb, or $1600.00 per ton of salt applied.